Better Together

News from the Clarke County School District • 11/18/22

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We want to wish all of our students, staff, families, and the community a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! As a reminder, all schools and district offices will be closed Nov. 21-25 for Thanksgiving Break and will reopen Monday, Nov. 28.


On top of so many things, we are thankful to our families and the community for your continued readership of this weekly newsletter. We hope you enjoy checking out this edition. The newsletter will return Friday, Dec. 2.

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2023 High School Graduation Dates Announced

Save the dates! The Clarke County School District is pleased to announce the dates, times, and locations for the Class of 2023 high school graduation ceremonies.


The festivities will kick off with the Classic City High graduation at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 25, in the Vernon Payne Meeting Hall at the CCSD administrative offices building, 595 Prince Ave., Athens.


The Cedar Shoals High and Clarke Central High ceremonies will again be held at Stegeman Coliseum, 100 Smith St., Athens, on the campus of the University of Georgia, on Friday, May 26. The Cedar Shoals ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the Clarke Central ceremony at 2 p.m.


Schools will provide seniors with further details, including graduation practice dates and times and other ceremony information.


Our seniors continue to work hard every day to finish their high school careers strong, and we look forward to celebrating with them in May!

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New 'Studio 595' Episode Drops!

Check out the latest episode of the "Studio 595" student podcast with CCSD communications interns Kalli Samaltanos and Dillon Ross below!


In this Thanksgiving-themed episode, Kalli and Dillon rank Thanksgiving foods and dish on other topics. Plus, the duo takes on Producer Alex's flag quiz in preparation for the World Cup, which begins this weekend.


In addition to the CCSD YouTube channel, "Studio 595" is available for listening on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Audible, and iHeartRadio.

Studio 595, Episode 4: Giving Thanks
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Two More Town Halls Coming Up with Superintendent

Superintendent Dr. Robbie Hooker held two more community town hall meetings this week at the Nellie B Community Center and Cedar Shoals High School. There were many great questions and a healthy exchange of thoughts and ideas about how we can better serve our students and families and how we can partner with families and the community to help every student be successful.


As a reminder, there are two more upcoming town halls with Dr. Hooker — Nov. 30 at New Grove Baptist Church, 1228 Moores Grove Rd., Winterville (next to Coile Middle School) and Dec. 5 at Pinewood Library and Community Center, 1465 US-29, Lot F-14, Athens.


Ask your question live or submit it ahead of time on the form below. You can also access the form here.

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Alps Road Students 'Read with Malcolm'

Children's author and former University of Georgia and NFL football player Malcolm Mitchell visited our students at Alps Road Elementary on Thursday, Nov. 17, to read to them and have tons of fun!


Malcolm spoke about his difficulties reading while growing up and told the students he was even scared of books at a young age before he realized that learning to read would help him go anywhere he wanted to go in life. Malcolm read the students his book, "My Very Favorite Book," gave each of them their own copy to keep, and even snuck a magician into the building to have some more fun with students and staff.


Thanks to Malcolm and his team at the Share the Magic Foundation for helping our students get energized and excited about reading!


See more photos here.

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Odyssey, iliad Staffs Receive Numerous Awards

Thirteen members of Clarke Central High's ODYSSEY Media Group and iliad Literary-Art Magazine editorial boards attended the Journalism Education Association (JEA)/National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) 2022 National Fall High School Journalism Convention in St. Louis last week and came home with numerous awards.


The OMG received numerous awards, including two top-10 placements in the Best of Show category, and multiple individual awards for Story of the Year, Best Use of Social Media, Cartoon of the Year and Broadcast Story of the Year. The ODYSSEY Newsmagazine was also recognized as a Pacemaker finalist.


The iliad also took home many individual awards for Best Use of Social Media, Best of Show Design and Design of the Year. In addition, it won first place in Best in Show for Literary-Art Magazine.


Read more here.

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Classic City High Selected for Safe Driver Simulation Program

Classic City High was recently among 50 high schools in Georgia selected to participate in Cinema Drive, a 3D simulated safe-driving program. Students participated Friday, Nov. 11.


Cinema Drive is a sophisticated 3D virtual driver education system that creates a real-world experience for youth new to driving. Students engage in interactive learning on several driving issues, including texting, speeding, alcohol/opioid impairment, and hazardous conditions. In addition, students interact with screens as if they are in the video to learn the dangers and "feel" the effects of crashes.


The program is part of the Life Changing Experiences Community Education Project, a resource offered by North Carolina-based The Children and Parent Resource Group. Cinema Drive presentations in Georgia are fully funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.


Check out the video below for a Cinema Drive presentation.

2D Cinema Drive Presentation
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CCSD McKinney-Vento Program Helps Students in Need

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law established to help support the enrollment and success of homeless students. The CCSD McKinney-Vento Program aims to remove barriers and improve educational opportunities for children in transition.


So far this school year, the CCSD McKinney-Vento Program, formerly called HEP (Homeless Education Program), has served 337 students from 155 families in need across the district. Common barriers that students in transition face include a lack of reliable and consistent transportation, limited access to health care, lack of educational continuity, lack of dedicated personal space after school, and food insecurity.


Click here to learn more about the program. If you believe you or someone you know may be eligible for the McKinney-Vento program, contact one of our district liaisons:



Dr. Angela E. Pope

Lead Social Worker

706-546-7721, ext. 79410

popea@clarke.k12.ga.us


Chrystal Gillis

Director of School Social Work

706-614-3745

gillisc@clarke.k12.ga.us


Jessica Reynolds

Resource Assistant

706-546-7721, ext. 79620

reynoldsj2@clarke.k12.ga.us

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College Application Fee Waivers

The Georgia Student Finance Commission has partnered with the University System of Georgia (USG), the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), private institutions, and Georgia Military College to provide application fee waivers to Georgia high school seniors during Georgia Apply to College Month.


More than 40 colleges and universities have agreed to waive their application fees for high school seniors between Nov. 1-30.


Click here to read the full press release and here to see the list of colleges and universities offering waivers, as well as the application links.

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Interested in a School Trip to Peru?

Dr. Lynne Sparks at Clarke Central High will be taking up to 10 students to Peru in June 2024.


For a slideshow of Peru information, please click here or scan the QR below. For questions, email sparksl@clarke.k12.ga.us to set up a Zoom session or plan a face-to-face meeting.

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Georgia DNR Summer Camp Information

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for the next generation of employees who will care for our state’s natural and cultural resources.


This summer (July 16-22), DNR invites high school students to a week-long summer camp where students will have the opportunity to explore future career options, receive training and education, and make connections with current DNR employees.


Learn more about this program here.

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Family and Community Engagement Updates

WATCH: Family University - "Restorative Practices"

The Department of Family and Community Engagement hosted its third Family University session of the year, "Restorative Practices," on Tuesday, Nov. 15.


A panel of educators, district administrators, and representatives from the Georgia Conflict Center discussed restorative practices and how they are currently implemented in CCSD schools.


Check out the video of the session below.

CCSD Family University - Restorative Practices | 11/15/2022
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Bus Drivers Wanted!

CCSD is now hiring bus drivers. Hourly pay ranges from $18-$26, and we offer part-time and full-time schedules, a $1,500 signing bonus (for full-time employment), and full benefits. It's a rewarding and flexible career move.


Click here to see what's waiting for you behind the wheel!

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How to Address Questions, Concerns

Have a question or concern that you'd like to address? CCSD has put together a matrix of who to reach out to depending on the situation.


Please click here to view this information. You can also go to CCSD's main site at clarke.k12.ga.us, go to the "I Want To" tab at the top of the page, and select “Ask a Question/Submit a Concern.”

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Board of Education News

The Clarke County Board of Education welcomes community feedback. Here are ways you can share your voice:

  • Contact BOE Members: Click here to view a list of the BOE members and their contact information.
  • Attend a Meeting: Next regular meeting is Thursday, Dec. 15, at 6 p.m. (in-person and broadcast on the CCSD YouTube channel).
  • Board Briefs: Click to read the "Board Briefs" overview from meetings.
  • Public Comments: Click here for information on how to sign-up to speak at a regular BOE meeting.
  • Review Policies for Review: View and comment on district policies pending public review.
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CCSD COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Opportunities

As a reminder, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are available at the Hilsman Health Center. Call 706-546-7463 to make an appointment. The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30-11:30 a.m. on Friday.

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